Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stepping Into Center Ring

"You try it! C'mon, you can do it!" The urging finally led me to middle of the group and my try out.

Since I was a little girl, I had a crush on Emmett Kelly and his clown Weary Willie. My Aunt Bess bought a Willie clown for me. It was my last doll. I'm not sure if I had the crush first or the doll, but either way, I loved this man and his talent.

In the 80's I was working with my then husband in the high school theatre. Barnum and Bailey Circus had come to town and were holding auditions. My husband asked if I would take the one student who was interested in auditioning. Of course, I jumped at the chance.

I sat on the sidelines making friends with the clowns as the auditions took place. I met Tuba, Scott, Tami and Tommy. When auditions were finished, a call went out to anyone else who might like to try. Being urged on by clowns is hard to resist, so I stepped into the middle of the ring. Not being shy, I enjoyed my moments ad libbing with the clowns.

That weekend my family went to the circus. My children were thrilled when Scott, the clown usher, played up to us. After the show, he took us down clown alley where my children met my other new clown friends. The following day, he took us on a tour of the circus train.

After walking through the train, I wasn't so sure why anyone would run off to join the circus. However, the experience was one my children and I won't forget. In fact, I wrote to Tommy, Tammy and Scott for some time after.

Oh, by the way, I got an offer to clown school, but never did get on that train.

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